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Academics whilst highlighting various issues including financial irregularities within the National Institute of Education (NIE), charged that the NIE was 75% responsible for the present crisis in the education sector.

Senior Lecturer at the Department of History of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Colombo, Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri said that the entire Council of the NIE had been removed.

He said that the intention of the said move was to remove mainly those Members of the Council identified as troublemakers for their approach to and manner of engagement with the affairs of the Council.

The members include Dr. Dewasiri, Professor at the Department of Political Science and Public Policy of the University of Colombo, Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda and Professor at the Department of Geography of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Prof. D.S. Epitawatta.  The previous Director General of the NIE had organized a programme for the staff in Kandy at an expense of Rs. 2.5 million without obtaining prior approval of the Council.

Associate Professor at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Prof. W.D.W. Jayathilaka who had previously resigned too had been sent a letter informing him of the removal, he added.

“Since 2015 December, the Council has not met,” he noted.

Both, I and Prof. Uyangoda wrote a letter to both, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam (a copy of which was also sent to the Education Secretary) about the state-of-affairs at the NIE, yet received no favourable response, he remarked. (RLJ)